As enthusiasm continues to grow for analog music playback, Audio Research introduces a new phono preamplifier with an astonishing price to performance ratio. Designed and built by the same people who created the legendary Reference Phono 2SE, the LP1 opens the door to high performance audio to a whole new audience.
The LP1 is a departure for us in both size and series designation. The chassis is a compact 13” wide, by 8.6” deep, by 4.5” high. The front panel has the inset Audio Research logo with an engraved line completing the panel, but no handles. There are simply two switches for Power/Off and Mute/Operate. The entire chassis is silver, and the front panel is only available in Natural. The LP1 has 47dB of gain, perfect for higher output (>1.0mV) MM and MC cartridges. It is a hybrid design utilizing one 6H30 tube, special low noise JFETs, custom Audio Research designed power transformer (made in the U.S.), and multiple stages of regulation. There is no overall feedback, and it is non-inverting. Inputs and outputs are single-ended.
The LP1 simply sounds wonderful, with great transparency and a lovely tonal balance. Typically Audio Research, the LP1 has dynamic life, passing gobs of information and sorting out the most complex musical passage. Airy on top, resolute on the bottom, the LP1 is fun to listen to and distances itself from the competition. Put it in any system at hand and have a great time with your favorite vinyl.